This website is a tribute to the life and artwork of Western Massachusetts artist Robert Strong Woodward (1885 -1957).

ALSO ON THIS PAGE:     Events & Talks    |    About the Website    |    How to photograph a painting?     |    Do I have a Woodward?


Our Website TEAM

Dr. Mark L. Purinton

Website Founder
Woodward Benefactor
Content Contributer
First-person Accounts

Mark Purinton

Deceased - Doc passed March 4, 2020. Contact either Brian or Larch for your inqueries.

Mark "Doc" Purinton, is the founder, owner and administrator of Doc grew up in Buckland. At the age of 14, he approached RSW's long time attendant and handiman, Fabian Stone, for a job. Fabian took on the young man to help with the grounds around RSW's Southwick Studio. Doc would work for RSW from 1940 through 1950 when he would marry his wife, Barbara, and begin medical school. Doc and RSW would grow very close over those years and in many ways he became like a son to Woodward. Upon Woodward's death in 1957, Doc and his wife, Barbara, would be the primary beneficiaries of the Woodward Estate. They would receive the Southwick home and studio, as well as a number of paintings and personal effects of the artist.

After finishing his residency at Waterbury (CT) General Hospital, the Purinton's would return to Buckland, opening a "country doctor's" office in the old carriage house of the Southwick place, and raising their family of two children. Doc, from the beginning, has always honored RSW's memory, perserving his studio much as Woodward left it. The homestead itself, to this day, is painted in the colors RSW chose, and the grounds have been maintained just as Woodward had done. In 2002, with the advent and growing popularity of the internet, Doc launched this website as a tribute to the man he affectionately called "Uncle Rob." Most all of the content of this site is the result of his and Barbara's diligence and dedication. The site has evolved into the most comprehensive catalogue on RSW assembled. Click on following link for Mark Purinton's story.

Brian Miller

Lead Strategist
Creative Director
Web Developer
Content Management 
  & Cataloger
Artwork Page Editor
Copy Writer


Brian joined the website team in 2008. His first task as web developer was to come up with a new website design to fit the ever changing growth in complexity and speed of the internet. The site's design is intentionally old-fashion honoring the early years of the internet. Something we believe reflects the values Woodward himself would appreciate. The new site was organized to feature Woodward's artwork in a "theme" structure anchored by its Main Gallery of now 33 topigraphical themes from "Barns" to "Woods." The viewer also can still browse Woodward's work by alphabetical order in its alphabetical gallery groupings, such as, "A-B" through "UVWXY" and includes an "Unnamed" gallery for paintings we either have not identified a name or were not named by Woodward. Brian's new design also gave more power and flexibility to what is a "scrapbook" of stories, recollections, essays, and pictures collected over the years regarding RSW.

The new site began its launch in 2009 with over 700 artwork pages and continues to this day with nearly 20,000 pieces of material, records and photographs related to Woodward's work as well as private lives and friends. What began as a tribute to Woodward has evolved into a comprehensive catalogue of his work and legacy to the national American Art Scene movement that tells a history of Western Massachusetts, New England and the nation itself. Woodward's unique life spans the period of the most dynamic growth and change in our history and his career reflects those changes in countless ways. Brian's role has evolved along with the growth of the website and now steers its direction and is the site's primary researcher and editor.

Larch Purinton

Website Administrator
Artwork Photographer
Scrapbook Editor
Copy Writer
Special Project /Media


Larch is the son of Doc Purinton. He became webmaster for in 2006 taking over for Danny Field who left the area for a new job. He is a broadcast engineer by profession and his experience in media and technology is unparalelled. Recognizing the fast changing trend in internet speed, the growth of new styling languages and other viewer interfacing coding languages such as JavaScript, the capacity for larger files, and higher resolution images brought Brian onto the team (2008).

Together, Larch and Brian, worked closely identifying the needs of the new website both from a functional standpoint, as well as, the aesthetic suited to an excellent viewer experience. In building the new website, Larch and Brian split duties with Brian taking on the Artwork pages and Larch, along side his father, exclusively worked in updating and compiling the Scrapbook section. Larch's role with the website has evolved over the years to include taking over all the administrative and business responsibilities for his father who at 90+ years has a diminishing vision.

Larch wears many hats at the website. He is also the site's principle photographer, having traveled all over to photograph hundreds of paintings you now see on the website. He edits those photographs to deliver the highest quality images possible. He also supplies all the production needs for events held, including video, sound and lighting. He is the principle designer of the website's calendar published annually and sold with all the proceeds going to the Buckland Historical Society.

Barbara Purinton

Barbara Purinton

Librarian and Archivist
Crack Proof Reader

   Not Available

Barbara, wife of Doc and mother of Larch, has a degree in Library Science from Simmons College and has been instrumental in the organization and preservation of the documents and materials used as a primary resource to a multitude of the pages in these website. She is a wealth of knowledge and a great resource in her own right... the glue. With a sharp eye, she often sees what the rest of us missed, not to mention a "crack-proofreader." Though she works from a seemingly background position, we would be remiss to not give her, her due respect.

Janet Gerry Nelke

Janet Gerry

RSW Consultant
Exhibition and Event   
Boardmember of the
Friends of Woodward


Janet grew up two houses down the street from Mr. Woodward's Southwick studio and has had a lifelong passion studying the life of Robert Strong Woodward. She was an early contributor to the website. She has written essays, a brief biography of RSW and shares her own story in relation to Woodward. She is also a founding member of the Friends of Woodward organization and is the organization's tireless and principle event developer credited with putting together a number of special exhibitions of RSW's artwork. In 2009 she published her first book, "Artist Against All Odds, The Story of Robert Strong Woodward," a fictional tale based on Woodward's life experiences. Her collaboration with the website is greatly appreciated.

Daniel Field

Original Web Master    
Team Member

No Image Available

   Not Available

"Danny" took on the task of taking Doc's mountain of information and page on top of page of material and built the original website. A daunting task for even a team of people, Dan held his own. His page structure was the inspiration for the artwork page's "Quick Reference" and "Additional Notes" sections. Though the website has evolved a great deal since he moved on, it was built on the foundation of Doc's original vision and Danny's code and the website is forever grateful.

Events & Talks


Brian answering questions
during a Woodward event.

Brian and Larch are available for come and speak to your group or organization on ALL matters Woodward.

We have volumes of material regarding Woodward's career and life. We can provide a multitude of angles into RSW... historically, artististically, personally, regionally and nationally. If it is his personal life, friends, studios or what he did for recreation, we have the most recent and up-to-date information. Larch & Brian have years of producing credits and can deliver a multimedia presentation to accommodate any size room or auditorium.

Please contact Brian or Larch for more information...

Mark with Woodward around 1942

What humbly began as a tribute website to the life and work of artist Robert Strong Woodward in 2002 has evloved into the single most comprehensive online artist catalogue available. Based on the original inspiration of its founder and Woodward benefactor Mark "Doc" Purinton M.D., the website branches out into the preservation of the historical significance of RSW's period. The website is anchored by two launching pads, (1) the Artwork Gallery organized primarily by popular theme subject, as well as, by alphabetical order. (2) is the Scrapbook Gallery containing a volumous resource of documents, pictures, essays, and recollections both relating directly and peripherial to RSW's life and career. It includes a number of first-hand accounts of people who knew RSW personally, stories of people, many of them famous, who played important roles in Woodward's life, as well as, the personal actifacts pertaining to RSW.

The mission of the website is not only to provide access to the entirety of Woodward's work, report factual information and provide empirical data gleened from countless documents. It is also to explore its relevance, raise appropriate questions and do our best to put Woodward in context with his time period and remaining legacy.

Contact Brian regarding any questions you may have about Woodward. Should you have any information about Woodward or a painting, please do not hesitate let us know.

Photographing ARTWORK

Think you have a WOODWARD?

The Quiet Village is a chalk drawing we photo-
graphed on the porch of its owner's home
without ANY glare or lose of color.

Having received hundreds of pictures from owners of Woodward's artwork, we would say that, by far, the number one failure of the picture is not considering your light source. Flashing leaves glares on the glass of chalk drawings and on an oil painting with a high gloss or veneer. The lights in your room or hallways are often not nearly bright enough and more often than not have a yellow color you no longer notice but always comes out on camera. Almost no one other than professional photographers have "on hand" professional lighting. However, in our experience, the best pictures we take are often when we use the natural light of the sun.

If you have a room (or porch, not a patio) that gets good sunlight and is bright, then you have all you need but before we say more let's first discuss the time of day. Daylight changes temperature throughout the day with the early mornings and evenings being what is considered warm (reds) and between 10am and 2pm, when the sun is highest in the sky the huge is green-blue to blue. Woodward LOVED natural light and a vast majority of his paintings are during this crucial time of day. RSW also preferred an even light which is often facing north. That is not critical. If you do not have "northern" light, that's okay. Another thing about that 10am to 2pm time is that the sun is high meaning you will have less casting shadows on your painting. OH! and do NOT stand in the path or blovk the light source.

The Green Bottle and the Barn is an oil painting
we photographed on the floor of its owner's
home with even light and no shadows.

Once you have the time set and good light (even hazy days are bright enough, it does not have to be clear skies)... what you do is lay the painting flat on the floor NOT directly in the sunlight. This is important to preventing glare. The ceiling of the room or porch offers you a flat surface for taking pictures of chalk drawings which are often under glass. Check the painting for any shadows being cast by, let's say a window pane or plant. If you are good, then stand above your painting, hold out your phone or camera over the painting as level as you can (it doesn't have to be perfect, we can correct perspective in editing) and start snapping pics... lots of them. That is how ALL professionals do it, lots of options. View them for any shadows you may have missed. If it's good, then you are done!

You can photograph your artwork outside, though we do not recommend it for chalk drawings. The sky will almost always reflect in the glass. You need a flat, nondescript ceiling for chalk drawings. However, if you choose to photograph your painting outside we suggest you follow many of the rules above... between 10am and 2pm and avoid direct sunlight. Even in the shade, there will be enough lumins to take a nice, nature light picture. We would also suggest you first lay down a blanket or towel as to not permit any moisture to make conact with the back of your painting.

Do not hesitate to contact Brian or Larch (preferably Larch because he has taken hundreds of painting photographs) to talk you through any difficultly or obstacle not covered in the above instructions. We welcome your inqueries!

Over the years we have had a number of people contact us believing they have a Woodward and in some cases they do... just not Robert STRONG Woodward. There was another fairly popular artist by the name of "Robert Woodward." This Woodward is younger by about 20 years and did not have the same success. The two artists styles and techniques are very different in both brush stroke and paint mixtures. They also differ in compositional styling with the other Woodward being prone to a more atmospheric and "interpretive" style and Strong a naturalist, painting scenes as his eye sees it.

Unfortunately, RSW did not always sign a painting. There are a number of them out there. In most cases, the paintings were gifts to friends or family and not necessarily what he considered to meeting his high standard but not bad enough to be destroyed. Furthermore, at the start of his career, RSW, experimented with various signatures. Still, after 1921, his "brand" signature was "Robert Strong Woodward" with a red "S" in Strong. It is usually found in the lower right portion of the painting, useless the area was too dark for it to be seen, then you will find it on the left. There are just a handful of paintings where he sighed the painting in the upper left but those are exclusively pre-1925 and usually what we call a "Quintessential Redgate."

Finally, there also what we call "appreciation" paintings where he may have written on back of the board or canvas but left unsigned. These are typically small paintings (under 20" at their widest) and were given as tokens of appreciation for the receiptiant's kindness or generousity or to a friend in need of encouragement. While catalogued here on the website, they are not considered anything more than gifts meant to be held by their owners and not sold.

If you think you have a Woodward, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will give it every bit our due diligence to determine if it is or not. The website and the RSW estate reserves the right to be the leading and ONLY authority for validating authenticity. Its not a Woodward unless we say it it...
To view our Owners Privacy Policy click here.